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Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: Oct 15, 2008 5:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Phil's Peak

What is your opinion on Phil's peak as a bass player? Phil used to say that he and Garcia played off each other like Sandworms in heat. My ears hear 74

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Poster: dirtybuck Date: Oct 15, 2008 5:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's Peak

2 parts to my answer.
the first peak i believe was 1975. He was on fire. of course, leading up to that peak was great (he always seemed
pretty great actually) and thow in 76-77 as post peak.
He was really on top of the melody back then, if you heard nothing but phil, you'd know exactly which tune they were playing, not the case later on. i beleive he was burnt (or board) and trying to find ways of playing that amused himself later..
2nd peak...1983 he was in love and just got the new 6-string. unreal playing. listen to a fire from 83' or a help on the way. this was THE time to enjoy if you were a phil fan, i wish it would stayed that intense, but...
in my opinion, it did not.
still got my "i'm with Phil" sticker by the way.
love 'em.

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Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Oct 15, 2008 6:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's Peak (don't murder me)

I think Phil had many peaks, but to be honest, my favorite Phil playing is on the Dead's studio albums."Golden Road" "Touch Of Grey" "Truckin'" "GSET", whatever, he plays his ASS off on the 'studio versions' in a way you just don't hear from him live.

Live, for some reason, I think his playing noticeably improved in the late 70's/early 80's, although I think the rest of the band deteriorated, particularly the drummers. In a way, Phil was doing a lot of the heavy lifting during that time, as far as groove goes...check out his playing on the encore "Shakedown" here:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd79-09-04.sbd.clugston.9452.sbeok.shnf


This post was modified by Styrofoam Cueball on 2008-10-16 01:42:30

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Poster: kochman Date: Oct 15, 2008 7:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's Peak

1979 - check out a Passenger for an example...

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Poster: He Live's Date: Oct 15, 2008 11:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: MR.............. PHIL LESH

you may be old, but you are still on crack?

when was Pablo Casals better, at 25 or 55? or 65?

THE TIME YOU HEARD PHIL!!! was in playin in the band and dancin' -- the man raged those numbers in virtually all years. (but see 73 on the former and 76 on the latter for those performances, most all of 'em....oh, but don't leave out 72, 77 and 78)


LOOOOOK: phil evolved his SOUND over time.... and while his most dazzling chops may be ON DISPLAY in one show or another from the 70s-- i am OFTEN -- BLOWN AWAY by the SOUND OF HIS INSTRUMENT ALONE, on many an occasion regardless of year.

PHIL LESH is a Master Musician of the highest order. and i am not fucking around with pablo casals, segovia, ellington, ravi shankar and miles davis -- but phil is at that level -- in the sense that, he is GOING FOR THAT LEVEL with every note -- this guy has music running through his veins with such a true sense of bearing as is rarely seen among humans. I BET HE COULD sight read with the best classical musician if that was what he wanted to do. he is a composer and performer who has no true parallel. even remotely, taking into account the cultural significance of his accomplishments.

Stockhausen died in 2007. luckily, Dylan is still around.... we know phil is not that level.... but as a musician he has contributed a lot. and it was not haphazard. he's somewhere between stockhausen and dylan....

at some points in his career he proved human. he sucked. because he was sick, tired, high, pissed or lonely...... SO WHAT?!? he is a working man.... he goes out there every time, ready to play something he has never even thought of before and looking to take his audience as far as he can. throw out another name, of another musician who, over this amazing period of time... has consistently performed at this high a level.

ok, he aint BABE RUTH.... but i mean, come on.... he's floating around yogi aint he?


MR.............. PHILLIP LESH!:

phil


and if you didn't know the reason he sound so good it's called syncopation. And all you "blues"/guitar center/berklee assho*es take note -- fuc(ers IN THE POCKET.....

especially, you GC dudes:shut up, you sound like shit!






This post was modified by He Live's on 2008-10-16 06:03:19

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Poster: jmm2112 Date: Oct 16, 2008 11:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MR.............. PHIL LESH

Stockhausen! Jaco Pastorius! Every day I learn so much on this site--Dead and non-Dead. Case in point, Ducats was starting to irritate me with blow me, blow me, yada, yada. So I looked up "ducats": gold coin. Who knew?

James

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Oct 16, 2008 3:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MR.............. PHIL LESH

Hey - good for you standing up for Phil. The suggestions made above that Phil peaked in 74, 75 or whatever and so presumably has been in a long slow decline for the last 30-odd years are frankly so ludicrous as to be hardly worth a second's thought. At 68 years old the guy is still getting out there on stage, giving it everything, and blowing away bass players four decades younger than he is. Ok - so he isn't laying down the same artillery fire he put out in 68 for instance - but why would anyone expect him to? Like you say, Phil's playing evolves.

Phil has never been a backing player, he doesn't just make up part of the rhythm section like a lot of bass players. Does a string quartet need someone to keep the beat? No. Neither did the Grateful Dead. Garcia, Weir and Lesh, provided different voicings that blended together to make a synergistic whole. Garcia would never put himself in the role of leader of the band because he knew that without Weir's adventurous fretboard explorations and Lesh's constant challenge to push on further, questioning this, agreeing with that, he'd never have the freedom of expression that allowed him to blend his own guitar voice into that greater whole.

You're right, of course, sometimes Phil sucks. I suck at my job sometimes, and I bet you do too. But which of us could claim such a consistent level of achievement over such a long period as Mr Philip Chapman Lesh? Yeah, I know you pretty much said that - I'm just agreeing with you. :-)

Here's to Phil. I hope he sticks around to play some 50th anniversary shows in 2015, when he hits 75. That'll be a party...

Cheers to you too, HL!

pf-20080615_02-phil-acoustic.jpg

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Poster: craven714 Date: Oct 16, 2008 7:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MR.............. PHIL LESH

Yeah man. I wasn't even going to dignify that silly
question with a response until your post He Lives.
Thank you. My belief is that Phil has yet to peak.
His peak to me will be the last note he ever plays
right before his life ends. That my friends, is the peak.

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Poster: Crazy Chester Date: Oct 16, 2008 4:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MR.............. PHIL LESH

Phil Rules! I just seen him and the boys on Monday and he rarely missed a note! If he did I couldn't tell!Grate musician for certain! Love ya buddy!

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Poster: secret8476 Date: Oct 16, 2008 6:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MR.............. PHIL LESH

This is a guy who, when starting his career off with The Warlocks, was not even a bass player. I recall a quote someone made to him when they suggested he play bass. He was used to playing a guitar and someone said "Its the same thing, its just the top four strings but one octave lower" And the rest is history.

Phil rocks - i love his bass AND his voice! I think he helped pick up alot of slack in the later years as well. If there is any reason to listen to many shows after '91 - Phil has got to be in the forefront making things happen.

He is like a fine wine that just got better with age. More robust, well rounded, full bodied with flavorful tannins and hints of excellence blended in that tended to explode in your head. Yummy!

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Poster: Rings&Bells Date: Oct 15, 2008 7:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's Peak

That's a tough one. Some of the stuff he did in '69 was unreal. But I'm not willing to commit to that yet.

Exhibit A: http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-01-24.sbd.kaplan.7922.sbeok.shnf (New Potato Caboose)

This post was modified by Rings&Bells on 2008-10-16 02:04:24

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Poster: fireeagle Date: Oct 16, 2008 2:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's Peak

yes, my ears also hear 74. the highest of so many peaks so far. but who knows what the future might bring? maybe new, higher than high, peaks

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Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: Oct 16, 2008 5:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's Peak

Frankly, You guys are hilarious. I Love Lesh and all he has accomplished, but he is not God. Nor was Garcia. Lesh is not the musician he once was and to say otherwise is obsurd. Believe me when I say I'm not knocking the man. I am a tried and true head. There is no Grateful Dead without Lesh, but if you think the music he is creating today is better than 74, you might want to check your ears or stop shooting up.

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Poster: fireeagle Date: Oct 17, 2008 5:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's future Peaks

of course hes not better now than in 74 (dont need no doctor), but he might be better tomorrow or next year or...plenty of time left (hopefully)

thats what id call positive thinking and optimistic attitude

light up

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Poster: sambonk Date: Oct 16, 2008 7:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's Peak

Phil's bass playing was the sound of the Dead.
Let me explain I went to see Phil and pals about 2 years ago.From the first note,it was as if This stuff sounds familar...oh yes....its PHIL!!It does not sound like the"samauri seven",but it just has that melodic tone that carried Jer over the top many many times.

He was and is a very important part of the GD sound.
Every day,I think of how lucky we are(I am)to have seen the GD and appreciate all the music that WAS played and WILL be played....

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 16, 2008 7:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's Peak

Great thread, HeLives, Rob, Craven et al! I would say that Phil is the one for which I do not see a peak. Seriously. He has been playing at an outstanding level for the ENTIRE time IMHO.

When I babble on about the decline post 71 or 73 or whatever, I talk about vocals (Phil's not part of that) and transitions in approaches, etc., which are not really reflected in Phil's playing. And on the other end, I think that he adapted so well so fast that by 67 he was GREAT.

Sure, some might say he had to stop singing and that when he would return to it now and again it was poor, but that was never what he was about...it would be like saying Ginger Baker went down hill because he lost his vocal abilities.

So, I vote for the following peak for Phil: 66-present.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Oct 16, 2008 8:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's Peak

Well spoken, Brother Tell.

I'd like to adjust your Phil peak years formula as follows:

66-present -> the future.

I'm really hoping we'll all be around for the 50th/75th celebration shows in 2015.


Just to add an addendum: I actually think Phil's singing is growing in strength and confidence lately. He really seems to be enjoying himself.

This post was modified by robthewordsmith on 2008-10-16 15:49:21

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Poster: Solo Head Date: Oct 15, 2008 7:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's Peak

Over the 30 years, there was, maybe, a couple of tours that phil was bored with the whole thing. He generally just turned himself down, and waited for the malaize to pass.

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Poster: srtg83 Date: Oct 15, 2008 11:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's Peak

Nice thread. I would agree with most of Dirtybuck's comments above with a small modification of placing the peak of 1975 to 1974. http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-07-21.ecm22p.bertrando.motb0056.88979.sbeok.flac16

I also agree with the comments regarding 1983. The band's sound changed dramatically from 1982 mainly due to the six string Modulus. I think the Saratoga Dew is good illustration of this point. http://www.archive.org/details/gd83-06-18.senn421.nawrocki.14411.sbeok.shnf

But I would also add as the final peak the summer of 1990 to the end of 1991 when he added Aural Exciter to the rig.
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1990-09-20.schoepsmk4.bratman.9989.sbeok.shnf

This post was modified by srtg83 on 2008-10-16 05:40:14

This post was modified by srtg83 on 2008-10-16 06:29:15

This post was modified by srtg83 on 2008-10-16 06:29:36

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Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: Oct 16, 2008 6:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Phil's Peak

I totally agree with the 83 Saratoga Dew - I was at that show and was blown away - What a show